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Russian Alphabet

What are the chances of adding a lesson to actually teach the individual letters and how they are pronounced. I really like this Latin alphabet option but I also want to get the full experience of learning how to read the official Language. Thoughts?

November 2, 2015



You can switch to cyrillic alphabet.


I agree. I think truly learning Russian needs the Russian alphabet. Thanks for a great suggestion.


There's a toggle on the top left.


But the toggle switches the visual letters, if i were to look at them I still don't understand how the individual letters are pronounced. Like if I was translating from English to Russian, I wouldn't understand which "characters" I would use to make the sounds of the word... understand? I don't know, maybe I need to just go really slow and keep plugging away at it. Thanks for all your help!


The first lesson has a short introduction. Also, you can use an external guide.

Besides not knowing how letters are pronounced didn't stop you from learning Norwegian after all.


lol, Norwegian only has 3 extra letters I had to learn besides the Latin alphabet that I already knew. Russian has a completely new list of letters that I need to learn. I am not planning on giving up. This is a language I really want to learn! :D So I will just keep plugging away at it. I just thought it might be nice to suggest an introduction lesson for someone (like me) who has no idea what to do with the Cyrillic alphabet ;)


There's an explanation at the bottom of the first lesson?

If all this isn't enough for you, use some videos to learn it. It's pretty straight-forward actually.


That's why the letters are being introduced a few at a time. The idea is (or seems to be) to read the "tips" at the beginning of the lesson--very carefully because they pack a lot of info in them--and then practice using the new letters in the lessons. If you have trouble getting from the "tips" to actually using the letters when you type, try writing the letters by hand and saying their sounds aloud as you do so as an intermediate step.

If you get really frustrated you might want to try an external source as has already been suggested. (Post on my Wall if you want to discuss what to look for.)


Please help, the Cyrillic characters are not appearing for me despite switching to that. Any idea what is wrong? Thx in advance!


I have the same problem...


I have resolved the issue meanwhile. slogger gave a good link below. You need to install a new keyboard layout on your computer. Here is the link: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Guide_to_keyboard_layouts_and_input_methods


I've done that, but the button still doesn't work... Now I have already 4 different keyboard layouts so switching with Shift + Alt is rather unpractical as well. Therefore I would prefer the button, which isn't doing anything so far...


I am on Mac and use a quick CMD+Space hit to switch. It works nicely, lot better than switching the button during the session. What is a pain is to find the cyrillic characters on my latin keyboard...


When it says remember to use the russian keyboard, does that mean the cyrllic option or I have to download some sort of input for my keyboard? Thanks guys.


You have to install a (software) Russian keyboard on your computer, which the Operating System you use probably has available. This may help. Ask again if you give it a good try but are still confused.


You helped me a lot with this link. Thx!


You're very welcome. Glad it helped. Best of success learning to type in Cyrillic. It is really worth doing, so don't hesitate to ask if you have any problems with it.


I have no problem with it, learnt for many years when I was a kid (Eastern Europe, you know). But I suffer with the keyboard. I can type nearly blind with latin letters but finding the cyrillic letters hidden behind my latin keyboard is a pain… Maybe I should buy an external cyrillic keyboard...


If you're using Windows you can load the standard keyboard (ЙЦУКЕН), which it sounds like you have loaded, or the "student" keyboard where the keys are positioned more like in English. The standard keyboard will take a couple of weeks to learn if you practice 5-10 minutes a day (at least it did for me, but I wasn't pushing it at all and maybe you could go faster). The "student" keyboard you can type pretty well on right away--it's like the Greek keyboard, if you've ever used that.

There are quite a few programs online to learn touch typing in Cyrillic, such as vse10.ru and no typing program or stickers or special hardware is needed. I think most of those from Russia teach the standard keyboard, but some may teach the student one too. klavaro, which you can download to your computer, looks like it teaches very well (i.e., the way I learned ;)). You can also just print out a sheet of paper (or have a file open) with all the rows of keys in Cyrillic typed out, and just refer to it until your fingers learn where the keys are.


You can try this add on http://www.benya.com/transliterator/

To learn the alphabet, I recommend the Learn Basic Russian course on Memrise.


I can second the recommendation. The course teaches the alphabet one letter at a time, with someone reading aloud the Russian letters of the alphabet.



This is EXCELLENT! Perfect. Thank you so much for this suggestion. :D Works like a charm.


The chances are zero at the moment, and have been zero since the development of the course started.

You can use this set of exercises, though, to get a hang of reading Cyrillics in about an hour.


Here is a fun Cyrillic Alphabet course (in Finnish):

Watch the videos (! актеры – русские)! :-)


I can't find the little Aa-Rr button to switch the alphabet while practicing. What can I do? (I use the desktop version on firefox)


Drops has a very nice alphabet section at the beginning of their Russian lessons. If DuoLingo won't update it to something more useful, we'll be forced to use other platforms. I wouldn't have continued the DuoLingo russian course if I didn't find Drops.


I also have the problem that I can't find this switch button to change from cyrillics to latin and vice versa, neither on my phone nor my laptop. I'm stuck in cyrillics ^^'


What is the official language???????

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